Comm and Advocacy Officer (EU)


Communication and Advocacy Officer (EU)


The incumbent of this post is based in Brussels and provide Bureau wide support on communications and advocacy on refugee and asylum issues related to EU-related policy on refugee and asylum under the direct supervision of the Senior Communication Officer. The increased arrivals of refugees and migrants to Europe in 2015 and first months of 2016 has had a profound impact on the protection environment for refugees, including on policy, legislation and on public sentiment, including concerning signs of discrimination and xenophobia. Against this background, EU policy and implementation across Member States on refugee related matters and discussions over reforms at the EU level have taken central stage requiring a constant and proactive communication response from UNHCR. This requires communication support, with an understanding of advocacy and policy, in relation to very complex EU policy issues. The incumbent would work with Brussels based EU media in support of the Bureau for Europe strategic objectives in relation to EU policies on refugee and asylum issues. S/he would work with key Brussels Communications stakeholders to further multiply messaging, influence and gather information. In addition, the incumbent will provide communication guidance, including on strategic communication, to the Director/Deputy Director and Regional Offices and Country Offices, working in coordination with the Policy and Legal Support Unit Brussels, the Emergency team in the Bureau, and DER. The incumbent would provide Communications support to the Director/Deputy Director and other UNHCR senior staff when visiting Brussels, and to the Director/Deputy Director on EU related media interviews, events and social media.


- Advocacy and communications support is provided to the Bureau for Europe, with a focus on EU refugee and asylum policy and issues, including on communications and messaging as well as design and implementation of strategies on communication to enhance protection though European engagement and asylum systems.

- Serve as the focal point for the European Region on EU related issues in relation to communication under the supervision of the Senior Communication Officer.
- Provide communications and advocacy support to the Bureau/Deputy Director on matters pertaining protection of refugees and asylum seekers in Europe, with a focus on the EU.
- Participate in the development and implementation of public advocacy strategies.
- Develop and implement EU media and Communications strategies, outputs, and other initiatives in support of the Bureau for Europe¿s EU (and UNHCR) broader strategic objectives
- Support DRRM in Brussels with Communications work to ensure a coordinated EU Communications approach (working across PLUS and DRRM).
- Forge advocacy and communication partnerships with key stakeholders in Brussels with an EU focus. Continue to build and maintain Brussels media relations, and other important external Communications stakeholder relations (e.g. EU Institutions, Presidency, international organisations and NGOs).
- Package and commission information/stories submitted by field communication staff for dissemination in the web and other social media platforms.
- Identify, analyse and address external reputational risks.
- Coordinate the production of internal and external UNHCR communications, publications, visibility material as well as have the ability to communicate through public speaking.
- Liaise with DER and other Divisions at HQ, on strategic communications and media issues in coordination with the Communications and Advocacy Officer based in Brussels.
- Provide EU Communications support to the Bureau Director and Deputy Director, and other senior staff in relation to media inquiries, press conferences, and other Brussels events.
- Provide the Director /Deputy Director with social media support on EU messaging, in coordination with HQ social media team, the Bureau, DRRM and DER.
- Coordinate with Brussels UNHCR colleagues on Communications work, and the strategic value of integrated communications and advocacy/policy work.
- Ensure that EU based media and other external communications stakeholders have routine access to information and expertise on issues of importance to UNHCR.

- Represent the Bureau for Europe in external fora on advocacy and related issues.
- Handle Brussels EU interview requests, and in coordination with DER when needed provide responses for the network to broader media requests with an EU institutional focus.
- Draft press releases and respond to media enquiries and build dialogue with individual journalists.

- University degree (BA or equivalent) preferably in Communications, Political Sciences, International Relations.
- Minimum 8 years of relevant experience with progressively responsible experience in advocacy, communication, external relations of which 2 years should be in an International capacity.
- Excellent communication skills both written and oral.
- Ability to draft and edit English texts for outside dissemination.
- Experience in dealing with the media, preparing key messages and interlocution with external parties.
- Experience in dealing with social media platforms.
- Solid experience on communications and advocacy with specific focus on EU.
- Excellent journalistic-style writing and editing abilities.
- Expertise in the use of social media and how to use it as a strategic communication and advocacy tool.
- Ability to use video and photography skilfully.
- Fluency in English and another relevant UN language.

- Experience in lobbying and advocacy with Government and institutions.
- Experience with EU media and other EU stakeholders, in particular in relation to refugee and asylum matters.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Brussels
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication
  • Closing Date: 2016-09-26

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